CNN has signed American Urban Radio Networks White House Correspondent April Ryan as Political Analyst. The 49 year old Journalist and Author made the announcement on Twitter today.
NEW CNN CONTRIBUTOR: APRIL RYAN named a CNN political analyst. She is the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) April 3, 2017
Ryan has been making headlines in the past few weeks after going toe to toe with both White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Donald Trump, as well as appearing multiple times on CNN.
When Ryan asked about how alleged connections between the Trump administrations and Russia were being perceived and the exchange between Ryan and Spicer built, he snapped “stop shaking your head,” which led to a firestorm of criticism of the spokesman for seemingly condescending to her while she was simply asking questions related to a news topic.
And in February, during a news conference with President Trump, Ryan was asked to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, as if she had some special personal connection to the group. “Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours,” Trump asked her.
“I was appalled at the way Sean Spicer was treating you with such disrespect,” said a pained-sounding woman named Pam, who said she had listened to Ms. Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, for years.
“I have people come at me in all sorts of ways,” Ms. Ryan told Pam, nodding. “I thank you so much.”
Ms. Ryan joined Pittsburgh-based American Urban Radio Networks in 1997 to cover the White House, after reporting at local stations in Baltimore and Tennessee.
At first, she sat in the back of the West Wing briefing room, among the more obscure news outlets. Over the years, she made her way forward, sometimes taking the chairs of no-show reporters and eventually securing her current seat in the third row. She has published two books, “The Presidency in Black and White” and, last year, “At Mama’s Knee,” a look at motherhood and race. (Ms. Ryan is a single mother of two daughters.)
Her focus is general politics, but she often pursues questions specific to a black audience, a rarity in a press room where white men are the majority. “The truth of the matter is, if she doesn’t ask the urban-related questions, they may never get asked,” said Jerry Lopes, president of program operations at Ms. Ryan’s network.